Campus News

DoIT makes strides to eliminate illegal downloading

Illegal downloading of content by UW-Madison student has decreased for the seventh straight semester, according to DoIT officials.

Image By: Brandon Moe

Illegal downloading by UW-Madison students has continued to decline for the seventh straight semester, according to a news release by Division of Information Technology officials.

New data from the Office of Cybersecurity shows the number of notices delivered for illegally-downloaded material has dropped from nearly 5000 notices in 2014 to only 213 in 2017. According to Brian Rust, the Communications Director for DoIT, the primary reason for the steady decline in pirated content is due to the expanded pool of available streaming services.

“There are many more for-fee and ad based services available now than there were even just several years ago,” Rust said. “There are other options for you to access music, movies and other files legally.”

Rust said that, along with services like Netflix and Spotify providing access to their libraries for a small paid subscription, another reason for the decrease in pirating on campus is due to DoIT’s increased effort to inform students about the consequences of pirating.

“[The decrease is also due to] vigilance on our part in telling students that they should not violate copyright through illegal downloads,” Rust said. “We believe, and we’re hoping, that people have stopped doing it as much because they realize that it’s against the law.”

According to the DoIT release, a first copyright violation results in a temporary loss of campus Internet until “the alleged infringement ceases.”

Additionally, a second violation results in a warning letter from the Office of Cybersecurity, a loss of Internet, the completion of an online copyright awareness quiz and “a computer check up that scans for malware or file sharing applications are required to get access back.”

The third violation results in total loss of Internet access, with a report sent to the Dean of Students and the potential to pay fees.

Any questions about file sharing should be directed to the DoIT help desk.

UPDATE 9/26/17 at 10:53 a.m.: This article was updated to clarify a type of ad service. 

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